Film, Music, Opinion, Podcasts, TV

Top Ten Tings of 2018

Films

Swinging into top spot was arguably the greatest animated film I have ever had the pleasure to see and it only came out a few weeks ago. Seriously, if you’re reading this and unsure whether to drop into your multiplex close the computer screen, get to the cinema and thank me later. It’s jaw-droppingly great.

  1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  2. Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  3. Avengers: Infinity War
  4. Black Kkklansman
  5. Black Panther
  6. Widows
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody
  8. Creed II
  9. The Death of Stalin
  10. Ghost Stories

 

Albums

Testament to how little space there is on my record shelves, I have physical copies of only half of this years top ten. Shameful I know, especially when I have one of the greatest record shops in the land on my doorstep in Beartree Records. In the case of top spot, I may have gone overboard with three yet this is what happens when my favourite band decides to open an exclusive shop in town. Even before hearing the album I had gold, silver and cassette copies but it took an evening in the bath for the long-player to finally hit home. Some albums just need a bit of dedication and judging by the critical reception that gold copy will remain unopened.

  1. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino
  2. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
  3. Goat Girl – Goat Girl
  4. Sunflower Bean – Twentytwo In Blue
  5. Miles Kane – Coup de Grace
  6. Parquet Courts – Wide Awake
  7. Dream Wife – Dream Wife
  8. Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar
  9. Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
  10. Hinds – I Don’t Run

 

TV Shows

There are some TV shows that are considered compulsive viewing. Not simply for plot twists but because you appreciate that most of the country has already seen it and you don’t want to miss out. That was the case with Killing Eve where I would see the show mentioned by friends on social media, then websites. Before long I had recognised Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh before even settling down to watch it. Sadly I devoured it in the space of a week. I am willing to argue that Bandersnatch is neither a film nor a TV show, it’s something uniquely brilliant that I have spent years wondering if it was ever possible (nice one, Charlie Brooker)

 

  1. Killing Eve
  2. Atlanta (S2)
  3. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
  4. The Haunting of Hill House
  5. Narcos: Mexico
  6. Making A Murderer: Part 1
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale (S2)
  8. Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema
  9. Sunderland ‘Til I Die
  10. Luther (S1 – 4)

 

Live Performances

Yes. I’m counting theatre and live orchestras alongside concerts.

Yes. Having seen Hamilton I now fully appreciate the hype (as does the lucky girl who got my spare ticket as I may have made her entire year).

Yes. More bands need to visit Sheffield.

Yes. I probably need to go to the theatre more often.

  1. Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre, London
  2. Arctic Monkeys at Sheffield Arena
  3. Game of Thrones Live at Manchester Arena
  4. Wolf Alice at Manchester Victoria Warehouse
  5. My Dad Wrote A Porno at Sheffield City Hall
  6. Goat Girl at Picture House Social, Sheffield
  7. Flight Of The Conchords at Manchester Arena
  8. Courtney Barnett at Manchester Academy
  9. Sunflower Bean at Leeds Festival
  10. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at Tramlines Festival, Sheffield

 

Podcasts

I really do need help. That my top two podcasts of the year centre on porn and murder indicates that I really have a depraved mind. Strangely, both have mentioned each other during the year as if both appreciate the same disturbed set of listeners. It’s not just me!

  1. My Dad Wrote A Porno
  2. S’laughter: True Crime Podcast
  3. Distraction Pieces
  4. Reasons To Be Cheerful
  5. The Totally Football Show
  6. The Cinemile
  7. Football Weekly
  8. United We Stand Podcast
  9. The Adam Buxton Podcast
  10. Myths and Legends
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Film, Music, Opinion, TV

Top Tens of 2017

This is likely not the only ‘Top Tens’ blog post you have seen in the last few weeks and now I’ll add my choices to the mix. The lists fail to include that many leftfield choices though The Florida Project was one film I read a review of then viewed on a whim and now I expect it to win a couple of Oscars (it’s a genuinely remarkable piece of work and I’d highly recommend it to anyone).

Female fronted acts have also dominated my musical choices with gig highlights for the year including the first date of Lorde’s world tour at Manchester Apollo and The Big Moon at Tramlines and Sheffield Plug. I’ve also spent way too much time on Netflix (admittedly without the ‘chill’ aspect) and managed to blitz my way through The Crown, Rick ‘n’ Morty and The Keepers in a matter of days. There’s still several series’ I hope to get through in these cold opening months of 2018 so feel free to comment if there’s anything else you think I’d like.

Films

  1. Thor: Ragnorak
  2. Get Out
  3. Baby Driver
  4. The Florida Project
  5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  6. Paddington 2
  7. Dunkirk
  8. Wonder Woman
  9. War for the Planet of the Apes
  10. The Big Sick

 

Albums

  1. Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life
  2. The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension
  3. Alvvays – Antisocialities
  4. Lorde – Melodrama
  5. Baby Driver OST
  6. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built The Moon?
  7. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 3
  8. Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
  9. Kendrick Lamar – Damn
  10. The Horrors – V

 

Television Shows

  1. Game of Thrones: Season Seven
  2. Stranger Things: Season Two
  3. The Crown: Season Two
  4. GLOW
  5. Rick n Morty
  6. Bojack Horseman
  7. Riverdale
  8. Making A Murderer
  9. Line of Duty: Season Four
  10. The Keepers
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Music

Record Store Day 2014 : You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Good things come to those who wait. Great things came to those who waited from dawn outside a record shop for over three hours this morning.

It’s 5am and my alarm has just gone off. That’s an early start for anyone on a weekday, let alone a Saturday morning. Luckily for me I am staying at a friends in Crookes so my destination is only down the hill. 50 minutes later I am outside Sheffield’s prime vinyl emporium, Record Collector.

As I get closer to the shop I start hoping that the cold air has put off a few hardy souls, alas, I take my position on the corner of Fulwood Road and Crookes Road. This is ridiculous, it’s not 7am and already I’m panicking that I won’t be able to get half of what is on my wish list. I am not the only one, there are a few sneers at those at the very front. Part of me admires someone who can kip out in the cold overnight, part of me sneers that their hauls will soon be on Ebay and another part of me finds it a little sad.

Put frankly, they do not look like your average vinyl-buyers. That may sound judgemental but you can tell by the way someone wears a jacket and a pair of trainers that they have taste. Their clothes and haircuts betray a style, an indulgence that befits anyone with a record collection. They are willing to put in the effort and have a sterling record collection at home to prove it. You simply do not get to see much of that these days as MP3s and CDs are all too easy to come by and easy to play.

Further down the line there are fathers and sons, gig-goers, boyfriends and girlfriends. That’s more like it. These are people that actually LOOK like they enjoy watching bands and finding new music. They are also smart enough to kip in their own bed and head down early, people who have social lives and aren’t bothered about making a few quid selling on records. They value vinyl as keepsies, not commodities.

By 7.30am the queue snakes down Glossop Road which means there will be a fair few disappointed faces come 9am. That’s contrary to the incredulous looks from road sweepers and lorry drivers who wonder quite why there are so many people standing outside a shop at this time, in these cold conditions.

 

The queue snaking round the corner at 7.33am

The queue snaking round the corner at 7.33am

A few minutes later the lovely folk who work in the shop come out. This must be a second Christmas to them as each customer who enters the shop will likely spend upwards of £20, usually around £50 with one ahead of me in the queue spending £338. To show their appreciation they chat to regular customers and hand out drinks to those who have bided their time.

While everyone has their list those behind the counter are wary of supply and demand. For instance, Record Collector only have three copies of the Paul Weller single which is high in demand. Many in the queue are praying there will be a copy left by the time they get in the shop but as soon as they find out there is only such a paltry supply their heads sink. You cannot blame the shop, with the label divvying out records they cannot refuse as the hope alone brings out customers who will likely spend the money on something else anyway. Still, just three copies seems such a paltry amount to even bother with.

At 7.55am the doors open and the queue shuffles forward then the panic begins. We all check our lists frantically and chat about how the event gets more and more cynical year on year. The increasing queues and prices gain focus yet we still come out don’t we. One new aspect that I have noticed is the use of social media, not simply for taking photos of the queue but Record Collector’s own Twitter account which is refreshed minute by minute to check what’s already sold out. Every update brings it’s own groan of disappointment; Weller goes soon enough and after a slew of releases that aren’t on my list sell out I get as far as the counter.

The Haul including Oasis - Supersonic, Tame Impala - Live Versions, Chvrches - We Sink, Joy Division - Ideal For Living EP, Metronomy - Love Letters (Soulwax Remix)

The Haul including Oasis – Supersonic, Tame Impala – Live Versions, Chvrches – We Sink, Joy Division – Ideal For Living EP, Metronomy – Love Letters (Soulwax Remix)

Now I begin to panic. My wish list only consists of seven records, one of which is for a friend and another is a possible birthday present. My heart begins to race as another copy of Tame Impala’s Live Versions leaps off the shelf into someone’s bag. There are some that I should not worry about; namely the reissue of Supersonic by Oasis, the Joy Division EP and the Kings of Leon single. However, as I get closer I realise that two on my list are in danger, with me agonisingly close to getting them. Should I have bothered going to the toilet before leaving the house, should I have eaten cereal, could I have walked a little faster? It doesn’t matter now as the final copies of Jake Bugg’s Live EP and the Jagwar Ma/Temples split covers single depart the shelves into the lad in front’s bag. My heart sinks but I cannot complain with my haul. There’s always Ebay anyway.

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